Thursday, December 30, 2010

Read Any Good Pet Food Labels Lately?

As more and more pet parents like yourself consider feeding their dogs and cats a healthier diet, learning about the ingredients in your pet’s food becomes all the more important.
While many leading dog food and cat food brands cover the front of their bags with beautiful photography or illustrations of healthy ingredients, the ingredient listing on the back is where you can determine whether your pet’s food is of the highest quality.
Why is the first ingredient the most important? How do some brands categorize certain ingredients to make their food appear healthier? Why is corn not necessarily the healthiest ingredient? Take a minute to find out the answers to these questions and more.

How to compare dog and cat food.
When evaluating pet food ingredient listings, consider these factors:
  • The first ingredient is the most important because there is more of that ingredient than any other. All dog foods and cat foods must list the ingredients of their food in order of weight. When you compare the labels below, you see the first ingredient in BLUE is always real deboned chicken, fish, or lamb. The first ingredient in a leading brand pet food is ground yellow corn (which can be difficult for dogs and cats to digest, and has been linked to allergies in some dogs).
  • The top 10 ingredients usually comprise 80% or more of a dry pet food's entire formula and give you a real insight into the formula’s overall quality. For example, if you compare the top 10 ingredients in BLUE Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe dog food to some of the leading dog food brands, the differences in ingredient quality are clear.
  • Some dog food and cat food brands define their ingredients in several different ways so that the ones of lower quality appear further down the ingredient list. For example, a product list could contain chicken, ground corn, corn gluten, ground wheat and corn bran. And, if you were to group all of the corn ingredients as one, they might far out-weigh the amount of chicken in that food, and be the first listed ingredient.
  • Be sure to read all of the ingredients at the end of the listing to know if any artificial preservatives and colorings are being used.

Friday, September 17, 2010

More Recalls - Still need to be vigilant with the products you buy

sad dog
Beef Dog Treats Recalled for Possible Salmonella Contamination
Hartz Mountain Corporation has issued a recall for one lot of Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats for Dogs, after random samples tested positive for Salmonella. The voluntary recall includes 74,700 8-oz bags of Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats for Dogs, lot code BZ0969101E, UPC number 32700-11519. No reports of illness have surfaced, but the ASPCA and the FDA recommend all pet parents immediately discontinue use of and properly discard the recalled product.
Although pets are fairly resistant to Salmonella-related disease, affected pets may show decreased appetite, fever, lethargy, vomiting, abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. Humans should avoid contact with suspect food and follow strict hand washing procedures. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
For more information about this recall and the affected brand, please visit the FDA’s website.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Is Your Dog Afraid of Thunderstorms?

Try the following strategies to reduce your dog’s anxiety during storms. For dogs with mild thunderstorm phobia, these tricks may get rid of the problem entirely.
  • Let your dog take refuge inside. Storms aren’t as loud and scary with four walls around you! Bringing your dog into the house also ensures that he won’t try to escape from the yard.
  • Having some human company often calms panicked dogs. If your calm, quiet touch brings him comfort or if he comes to you for security, it’s perfectly fine to pet and reassure him.
  • Try turning on some calming music, a TV or radio, or a fan to muffle storm noises. Shutting the drapes may help if lightning also frightens your dog.
  • More active distractions may help, too. See if your dog will eat from a food-filled toy, such as a stuffed Kong, scatter treats in the house for him to find, or try playing tug or fetch with his favorite toy. 
If your dog’s quality of life is seriously impaired by thunderstorms, consider speaking with a vet about anti-anxiety medication. Medication can enhance the effectiveness of other efforts to help your dog cope with his fear. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

so much to do - so little time

I have been so busy with the new puppies I haven't had time to post... pups are now 3 weeks old - eyes are open and they are starting to explore!  They are so precious at this age. Let the fun begin!  Also, our little Maxwell is 4 months old and just loves the new babies.  He got his 1st big boy haircut this week - his new nickname:  skirmy wormy!

The doggie biscuit business is busy also - going to a fair this week-end.  The pups love the homemade stuff - and it is so much better for them.  We keep you posted on our progress....

Monday, May 3, 2010


Bailey has given birth to 6 new little wheaten babies - 4 girls and 2 boys!  Very exciting!!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010


We are now selling our homemade doggie treats - the shopping cart is up and we are offering are most requested treats for sale.  We will offer more choices in the future and would be glad to put together a special occasion basket of box for you!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tavish Treats is finally ready to go to market!

Here is pic of our setup at a local vendor ... pleased to say - we were a huge success.  The online store will be open by this week-end.  Please check us out at
You can feel good about giving these treats to your dogs - they luv them and they are all made with ingredients from the cupboard (with love).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More recipe testing

Another successful week-end of recipe testing... My cheese twists could use a little finessing - but the dogs didn't seem to mind.  The biggest hit:  pumpkin treats.  As you can see -everyone was anxious to give these a try!

Monday, March 29, 2010


I have been making dog treats for some time because I hate that I go to the pet store and still find treats with corn gluten and other crap STILL on the shelves. I have so many friends that ask that I make treats for them that I am going to start selling homemade treats off of our MacTavish Scotties website.  So... every few days I experiment with a new treat recipe.  This week-end: peanut butter Snaps and peanut butter puffs.  SNAPS - YES... puffs - not so great.  As I develop the process I will offer a sampler pack with some of the proven favorites:  milk bones (biscuit au lait) , peanut butter snaps, and cheesy bones - to name a few.  Please check our links often -and I will announce as soon as we are up and running! Bone Appetit

Friday, March 19, 2010

Here's some recipes for your dogs to drool over!

We are always on the lookout for new doggy websites - and this one fits the bill - It is called the Poop Pantry and has gobs of dog treat recipes.  I have tried several, including some easy microwave treats that the dogs really love!  Check them out:

Are Grapes and Raisins Really Toxic to your Dog?

Are grapes and raisins really toxic? They seem like such healthy fruits, that reports of toxicity seems impossible. However, over the past few years reports have begun to surface that ingesting grapes or raisins can be toxic to dogs.

According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, between January 2001 and August 2004, over 200 calls were made to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center involving potential exposures to grapes or raisins in dogs. Grape and/or raisin ingestion can cause acute kidney failure in some dogs.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center studies suggest that the lowest documented toxic studies suggest the lowest documented toxic raisin dose is 0.1 oz/kg and 10 to 12 grapes in a 20 pound dog. Raisins are 4.5 times or concentrated than grapes on an oz per oz basis.

So far, at least 10 dogs have been officially reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Blue Buffalo Announces New Puppy Food

WebsiteBlue Buffalo has always been one of my preferred dog foods.  They now have a smaller kibble for puppies.  This is excellent food for pups.  These foods can be a bit pricey though - but if your dogs haven't had to go on the budget plan yet - then this is the way to go!

If you live near a Tractor Supply Co. they have a new food called 4Health.  I have found this to be of the same quality as Blue Buffalo and at about half the price.  My dogs love it!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dangers of Flea Medication - Beware of Overdosing

Flea and tick medications are common treatments for pets. They are often sold over the counter and applied to millions of pets ever year; however, flea medication carries a myriad of risks to both pets and owners. The medications are filled with toxic chemicals (they kills fleas and ticks, after all). If they are not applied to extreme caution, serious complications and possibly death may occur.
Flea medication is highly concentrated; when rubbing the medication onto an animal, high concentrations can be left on one spot on the dog or cat. The high level in one are then seeps into the skin and into the pet's circulatory system. The toxins that are used to kill fleas are also harmful to the animal . Uneven application can cause nerve problems and can make both dogs and cats extremely ill with lasting effects.
Many flea medications come in shampoo form. The theory is that the flea medication will be applied and then rinsed from the animal. It is imperative to rinse the pet thoroughly, as dogs and cats tend to lick themselves and any medication residue could be ingested. The toxins in flea medication, even if just residue, can lead to nerve damage, brain damage and may be fatal for pets.
Human Contact
Any people using a flea medication on their pets also must be extremely careful when handling the products. Hands must be washed thoroughly afterward and skin contact should be limited. The toxic chemicals used to kill fleas can seep into the skin and cause unpleasant reactions in some people. .
Puppies and Kittens
Flea medication should not be used on kittens and puppies. The young animals are not big enough or strong enough to defend against the chemicals and may end up with brain damage, kidney damage and nerve damage if the product is not applied correctly.


Healthy And Flea And Ticks Free! How Flea Free Works

Flee Free is an ALL natural, none toxic liquid supplement that will get your pet rid of fleas in 20-24 hours and will prevent any re-infestation. When added to your pet's drinking water the product is ingested and works internally and naturally by producing an enzyme that shields the protein the female needs to lay eggs. Without this protein the female flea will have no choice but exist the animal since it has only 20 to 24 hours to live without drawing blood.

Scottish Terrier owners, beware! Bridget sick after ingesting more Cuz ball feet

'Excerpt from Scottish Terrier News'

Bridget is a ball thief and she especially likes to steal Cuz dog toys with feet and chew the feet off.

Given her past history with these balls, I have learned to look out for them and steer her away, especially from the small ones, on which she can perform a foot amputation in mere seconds.

Well, last night in the middle of the night, she started barking to go out, something she very rarely does. I let her out and assumed the problem was solved but the barking continued and at dawn, I let her out again and saw that the floor was covered with pools of vomit. She was also madly eating grass, hiding in the bushes, walking tail down and generally behaving very listlessly. I thought maybe it was a wood chip she had eaten at the park or the sandwich crumbs she had hoovered up at a sidewalk cafe the day before.

At one point, she retreated under the back garden stairs and I worried that she might have passed out, but then she perked up so we headed out of town instead of to the emergency vet. She continued to behave normally until noon when she pooped and, behind the regular stuff, two perfectly-formed Cuz ball feet emerged.

Bridget was with me all day yesterday so I'm almost 100% sure they weren't consumed then. They must have been consumed earlier this week when I wasn't around and backs were turned, but I have no idea how long they were churning around in her stomach.

Please, keep these dangerous balls away from your Scotties.

Update: Bridget has been herself since three hours before the feet emerged. I guess the problem was preapring the feet for expulsion

Monday, March 1, 2010


Dogs need toys, the same as they need walks, food, fresh water, and their people.

The Kong: Bigfoot Dog Toy


Dogs need toys, the same as they need walks, food, fresh water, and their people. The Kong toy satisfies the dogged yen to chew, slurp, slam, bam, and, yes, think like an animal. A first Kong for a puppy is a rite of passage and a necessary item for play and comfort to sustain and entertain a dog during a lifetime. For shelter dogs, Kongs are lifelines. The toys connect these orphans to their roots and can be best friends in a lonely cage.

Listen to this interview with Mark Hines of the Kong Company that aired on "Ask Dog Lady," the radio show. Dog Lady hopes you will better understand a woofer's desire to follow the call of the wild, bouncy, rubber thingamajig. Dog Lady, by the way, thinks the classic Kong is shaped like a snowman. Hines suggests a beehive. Hear the story of how this intriguingly-shaped essential dog plaything was invented in Part 1 of the interview:

And Part 2, like the stuffed Kong itself, is filled lots of juicy morsels:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Sadie, a Scottish terrier, soaks up the attention Tuesday after winning Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York.

All Scottie lovers can relish in the joy!

We are all one big family!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Potty Park Comparisons

As a breeder I am often sent promotional emails to try new products. Two of these are for the indoor potty system to train puppies. Here goes my thoughts..
The Potty Park Dlx sells for $239 and seems to be the most expensive one on the market.

The other product is called PetZoom Dog Potty and retails for $29.99 plus shipping - comes out to about $45.
Here is what you get:

Being a practical ( and somewhat suspicious) purchaser, I opted to try the $29.99 product.

To my surprise, the puppies began using it right away. I am anxious to try it when pups are even younger. I am quite happy with the results.

These produts are not substitution for potty training - but are a good product for winter training and for use when you might not make it home when planned.

I am including this video clip

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy New Year!

We have been very busy with our 6 new Scottie pups. We have 4 boys and 2 girls - lots of newspaper and puppy poo! They are adorable though. Here's a new picture!